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Moral panic versus the risk society: the implications of the changing sites of social anxiety

Moral panic versus the risk society: the implications of the changing sites of social anxiety ABSTRACT This paper compares moral panic with the potential political catastrophes of a risk society. The aim of the comparison is threefold: 1. to establish the position of risk society threats alongside more conventional moral panics; 2. to examine the conceptual shifts that accompany the new types of threats; and 3. to outline the changing research agenda. The paper suggests that as new sites of social anxiety have emerged around environmental, nuclear, chemical and medical threats, the questions motivating moral panic research have lost much of their utility. Conceptually, it examines how the roulette dynamics of the risk society accidents expose hidden institutional violations that redound into ‘hot potatoes’ that are passed among and fumbled by various actors. Changing conceptions of folk devils, claims making activities, and of a safety are also discussed. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png The British Journal of Sociology Wiley

Moral panic versus the risk society: the implications of the changing sites of social anxiety

The British Journal of Sociology , Volume 52 (2) – Jun 1, 2001

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References (64)

Publisher
Wiley
Copyright
Copyright © 2001 Wiley Subscription Services, Inc., A Wiley Company
ISSN
0007-1315
eISSN
1468-4446
DOI
10.1080/00071310120044980
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

ABSTRACT This paper compares moral panic with the potential political catastrophes of a risk society. The aim of the comparison is threefold: 1. to establish the position of risk society threats alongside more conventional moral panics; 2. to examine the conceptual shifts that accompany the new types of threats; and 3. to outline the changing research agenda. The paper suggests that as new sites of social anxiety have emerged around environmental, nuclear, chemical and medical threats, the questions motivating moral panic research have lost much of their utility. Conceptually, it examines how the roulette dynamics of the risk society accidents expose hidden institutional violations that redound into ‘hot potatoes’ that are passed among and fumbled by various actors. Changing conceptions of folk devils, claims making activities, and of a safety are also discussed.

Journal

The British Journal of SociologyWiley

Published: Jun 1, 2001

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